After a bitterly cold night the day soon warmed up and the 5 or 6°C felt much warmer than it actually was because of the contrast with the last few days. It was warm enough for the snowdrops to flash their petticoats again, for the Tête-à-Tête pushing their way up by the stream to begin to undo the buttons on their yellow waistcoats, and for the hellebores to pick themselves up from the floor and have a look around.
I took the opportunity provided by the milder conditions to plant out ‘Winter Moonbeam’ and, ahem, ‘Candy Love’, giving them a generous mulch of home-rotted compost. I have Googled Little Miss Floozy (aka Candy Love) and it appears she was created in Belgium in 2005 by crossing a selection of H. niger and H. lividus and choosing a seedling noted for its prolific flowering, long flowering period and vigorous growth as well as its exceptional flower colour – buds open to pale apricot with flowers steadily darkening to pink then misty purple with red and pink tints. She is also known as ‘Vancouver Medallion’, in honour of the 2010 Winter Olympics. But ‘Candy Love’…?!
As I planted and rambled I could not help but notice the proliferation of green shoots from the range of spring bulbs that promise further joy in a few weeks. Above, from left to right, are Tulipa ‘Lady Jane’, Fritallaria uva vulpis and Allium moly, whilst below are Fritillaria meliagris, Allium ursinum (wild garlic) and Scilla nutans (English bluebell). There are buds, too, on the pink Anemone blanda at the foot of the magnolia (right) which seem to have generated some self-sown seedlings. Bring them on!